A novel technique to establish hemodynamic monitoring in patients supported with extracorporeal life support systems (ECLS) for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR)

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Purpose:Veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) is increasingly used to support conventional unsuccessful resuscitation and it is mandatory to rapidly initiate invasive hemodynamic monitoring, as soon as ECPR therapy is commenced. Commonly, this is achieved by establishing an additional arterial line via the right radial artery for invasive blood pressure measurement, but this can be challenging and risky on the one hand and might lead to erroneous measurements on the other hand. Therefore, a faster, easier, safer and more valid method for hemodynamic monitoring is pressingly needed.Methods and results:We exemplarily describe one in four clinical cases, where hemodynamic monitoring was rapidly established in an ECPR supported patient by modification of the usual VA-ECMO setup: as previously described, a Y connector was implemented in the arterial cannula and equipped with a hemostatic valve at its blind end. Then, a 5 F pigtail catheter was introduced, pushed forward, and connected with a pressure transducer. This approach allows for a rapid and safe measurement of central blood pressure without need for a potentially hazardous additional arterial line.Conclusion:Invasive hemodynamic monitoring in critically ill patients with VA-ECMO support is easily and rapidly achievable by introducing a pigtail catheter through a modified arterial ECMO cannula. Validation of this method in larger clinical trials is warranted.

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